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Michael Jordan's Secret To Success: "I've Missed More Than 9000 Shots In My Career. I've Lost Almost 300 Games... I've Failed Over And Over And Over Again In My Life. And That Is Why I Succeed."


Michael Jordan is without a doubt, the greatest player in NBA history. Jordan played in the NBA during the 80s and 90s and was a truly dominant force throughout his career. At his peak, Jordan was absolutely unstoppable, especially when it came to scoring. It seemed that MJ could be trusted in the biggest moments to help his team get the win.

But what was Jordan’s secret to success? Well, according to Jordan himself, it was his fearlessness when it came to failing. 

In a 1997 commercial for Nike, Jordan narrated over footage of himself walking, where he explained how many shots he has missed in his career and the games he has lost. Jordan explained that he has failed many times, and that failure allowed him to succeed at the highest level during his legendary career.

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

Jordan certainly knew what it was like to fail. For the first few years of his career, MJ was an excellent player, but could not get past the hurdles of the playoffs. During the 80s, Jordan had to contend with excellent teams in the Eastern Conference like the Boston Celtics and the Detroit Pistons.

The Celtics were just too good, with their big three of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish. In fact, Bird has a 6-0 record against Michael Jordan in the playoffs. But Jordan showed his incredible dominance during these games, once scoring 63 points against the Celtics in a single playoff game, a performance that Larry Bird referred to as ‘god playing through Michael Jordan’.

As for the Pistons, they formulated a set of tactics known as the ‘Jordan Rules’ to stop MJ from single-handedly beating them. After years of losing against the Pistons, Jordan and the Bulls were able to overcome the Pistons. And from there, Jordan went on to dominate the NBA in the 90s, losing only one playoff series throughout the decade and winning 6 NBA championships.